How to Create and Use RV Travel Checklists


If you are planning on taking an RV trip, you will want to make sure that you have everything you need once you leave home.

Travel Checklists Help You to Organize Your RV Trips
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Types of Lists

The best way to do is to prepare a series of checklists that will
  • protect your home while you are away,
  • keep you from forgetting important items and
  • help you to organize your packing.
 Setting Up Lists 

There are several types of lists (which are discussed below) travelers can use depending on their individual desires and needs.

You may not need all of them on shorter trips, but it is nonetheless good to set all of them up so that you can pick and choose as necessary.

If you set them up on spreadsheets you can use them for all future vacations, no matter the season or distance.

It is best to keep one master list, then amend it as needed.  Doing this will save a huge amount of time and provide the most efficient way of accessing the information you need to have for any given trip.

It is a good idea to create several small lists rather than using one that takes up several pages.

Doing this will make specific lists easier to find and will save time.

The types of lists you choose will depend on your specific travel needs.

For example, people who travel with children will want to create a list of toys and games they may want to take with them.

RV Travel List Options

Here is a summary of lists you may want to consider creating and storing on your computer:

House Preparation: Things you need to do at home to prepare it for sitting empty for a period of time.

General Packing: For daily use items such as linens, clothing, cleaning and cooking items.
Food: For making sure you have the right types of foods and liquids with you when you travel.

Health and Personal Care: For items such as medicine, over the counter health care items and cosmetics.

Office: For items such as laptops, office supplies, cameras and other digital equipment you may need to have as you travel.

Hobby and Sports: For those extras you want to take with you to help you enjoy your trips more, such as fishing gear, golf clubs, toys and games.

Set Up/Break Down: Reminds you about things you need to do after you arrive or before you leave your campsite.

House Preparation List

People don't often realize the importance of preparing houses they plan to leave vacant for long periods of time, but it is a task every traveler should take care of prior to each RV vacation. 

Using a house prep list like the one I show here is the easiest way to handle this issue. I am providing more specific details for this list here because of its importance.
  • Lock all doors and windows,
  • unplug lamps and small appliances,
  • notify your credit card company that you will be out of town,
  • close curtains and blinds,
  • set AC up to 80 so that electricity is not wasted,
  • turn off the hot water heater,
  • install hurricane shutters if necessary,
  • turn off water (to avoid flooding),
  • unplug computers (to protect against power surges),
  • call the post office to hold your mail or making other arrangements for it,
  • put your second car in the garage,
  • empty, clean and sanitize the refrigerator (to avoid food spoilage),
  • spray the inside and outside of the house with pesticide,
  • empty and wash out all trash cans,
  • stop magazine and newspaper delivery and
  • arrange for someone to check the house periodically
High Needs List

Most people focus on every day items when it comes to creating lists, but they should pay close attention to items such as those listed here and create a list to remind them to pack them before leaving on an RV trip.

Travelers should always pack high needs items such as
  • a battery charger,
  • a water pressure regulator,
  • extra sewer and water hoses,
  • a fan (in case your AC stops working),
  • electronic adapters (50 and 30 amp),
  • a tire gauge,
  • a first aid kit,
  • spare tires for the RV and car,
  • a basic tool kit,
  • an extension cord and
  • a set of wheel chocks
that will provide various types of travel protections.

Non-Perishables Lists

Lists of non- perishable items should include
  • daily use items such as linens, dishes and cooking utensils,
  • tools such as levels, hand tools and compressors,
  • hobbies and sports such as fishing gear, crafts items and bikes,
  • entertainment items such as DVDs, games and cards,
  • office supplies such as tablets, calculators and maps and
  • electronics such as laptops, cell phones and GPS systems.
Perishables Lists

Perishables such as food, medications and personal care items, will have to be loaded into your RV the same day that you plan to leave. (Make sure to turn on your refrigerator several hours before you load so that food will not spoil.)

These lists will be long and highly detailed.

For example, food will include a category for snacks, but you will need to name each type separately.

The same will be true for your health  and personal care items lists.

Set Up/Break Down Lists

Since there are a number of things you must remember to do either when setting up or breaking down your campsite, you should have lists for each segment that includes such chores as

Set Up:
  • putting wheel chocks in place,
  • properly positioning your antenna,
  • properly positioning your steps,
  • putting awnings down and securing them,
  • setting up your TV stations,
  • putting exterior furniture in place
  • and opening blinds and curtains.
Break Down:
  • making sure external doors are closed,
  • dumping holding tanks,
  • walking around the unit to make sure you leave nothing behind,
  • clearing counter tops,
  • securing drawers and doors,
  • lowering the antenna,
  • closing awnings,
  • making sure entry steps are closed
  • and locking all doors and windows.
Check Lists Are a Useful Tool

I have heard people say they don't bother taking a lot of things with them because they can always buy them as needed.

My answer to that is if you are in Yellowstone National Park in the middle of the night and need some Preparation H, you better hope somebody remembered to pack it!

I guarantee you that the very item you will need the most will be the one you won't have if you don't create and use lists to remind you about what you need to have with you.

Clearly, people cannot take everything with them when they travel, but there are some things that should always be available.

Creating and using highly detailed RV travel checklists assures that you will do what you need to do to make sure that when you head out the door, your home is protected and so are you.